Mphela on the mend

Friday, September 2, 2011

Pretoria - Bafana Bafana striker Katlego Mphela is responding well to treatment following a knee injury he sustained at training on Wednesday morning and he will travel with the team to Niger later today.

However, he is still undergoing treatment from the squad's medical team and has been advised to rest. He did not train with the team on Thursday afternoon.

Bafana are scheduled to play Niger in an away 2012 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier on Sunday at the General Seyni Kountche Stadium in Niamey. Kick-off is 3:30pm local time in Niger and 4:30pm South African time. 

Supersport United captain Morgan Gould believes the away trips to Egypt and Sierra Leone have strengthened Bafana Bafana and they know what to expect.

"Every challenge thrown at us during the last qualifiers has helped us a lot, and we learnt a great deal on how to behave when playing away. 

"Those matches have prepared us mentally and we are stronger and more focused after our travel to Freetown and Cairo. 

"We were missing some players in those matches and that has made us a unit. We don't have individuals in the team, we fight for one another. Even the new players can see that, which means the guys who have been here longer are doing a good job in teaching them," said the defender.

Gould's words were echoed by fellow defender Siboniso Gaxa, who plays his club football in Belgium.

"Don't expect beautiful football. It's going to be a fight to the end and we will do everything we can to get the three points. 

"Also, it's extremely hot and such conditions need soldiers, and I believe we have those soldiers in this team. The weather conditions here in Rustenburg are not really the same as in Niamey, but they have helped somehow for us to get used to playing in hot conditions. 

"We have some youngsters in the team, but with our experience, we have managed to guide them, and who knows, maybe one of those youngsters, if given a chance, can shine and help us to victory. The whole team has to be mentally strong for us to overcome this mission," said Gaxa. - BuaNews

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